Thursday, June 15, 2006

And the point is ...

Up to nothing in particular the last couple of days. I finished reading Tomás O'Crohan's The Islandman, and also inspected some first editions of Flann O'Brien's parody of it: The Poor Mouth. The locally available editions of this book are quite expensive, so I'm sending off for a copy from the USA (same edition, but better quality and lower price).

I've noticed in general that there's a high tourist tax on goods here when you buy them close to the source. If you want an Aran sweater, they are much cheaper here in Dublin than on the Aran islands, but come from the same knitting factory. I heard this first-hand from someone who'd worked in the factory.

There are interesting pieces of street sculpture around (although street furniture would be a great asset too - it seems to be a rarety in Ireland) such as the pieces below of Oscar Wilde (looking onto two columns inscribed with some of his pithy sayings and across the road to the house he lived in as a child), an ice-cream or bird-poo spattered James Joyce, and the Dublin Millennium Spire. At least you can see the point of the latter without any literary education. It has various nicknames such as The Stiletto in the Ghetto and The Stiffey by the Liffey. These remind me of Birmingham's Floozie in the Jacuzzi [July 21].

Vance and I were hoping to catch a Beethoven piano recital at the Royal College of Physicians, but it was sold out. So we slid down the cultural pole to X-Men 3, which was mainly incoherent blowing-up and floating things, slightly enlivened by a hairy blue mutant Kelsey Grammer abandoning his "Seattle, I'm listening" stance for some hairy blue mutant acrobatics.

Speaking of Frasier, I'm reading the new novel My Lucky Star,by Joe Keenan. It's a continuation of the Wodehousian novels he began with Blue Heaven and Putting on the Ritz, but which were interrupted by many years of writing for Frasier.

Walked around the city north of the Liffey, but was rather unimpressed -it's all very barren, caught between glassy shopping malls and boarded up older places. Reminds me a lot of central Manchester.

Chris arrives tomorrow for a 4 day visit. Yippee.

Another phone interview with Google on Friday.

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